After Adoption: Why Your Shelter Pet Still Needs to See a Veterinarian

Based on an article that first appeared at

Congratulations on the adoption of your new pet!  We are thrilled that you decided to adopt a pet from the shelter and save a life! 

When a dog or cat is adopted from the shelter, he/she is most likely current on vaccines, has been spayed or neutered and has been microchipped.  The shelters work hard to make adopting a pet as easy as possible.  However, it is still very important to follow up with your veterinarian soon after adoption. 

A thorough wellness exam is necessary to ensure your new pet is as healthy as possible before bringing him/her into your home and possibly introducing him/her to your other pets.  If a pet comes to the shelter and is already spayed or neutered, he/she is often examined only by a veterinary technician.  If this is the case, the heart and lungs have not been listened to, the eyes, ears, and mouth have not been examined and the body has not been palpated for abnormalities.

Additionally, vaccines for puppies and kittens are given in a series. This means that while a newly adopted puppy or kitten may be current on his/her vaccines now, he/she will need additional vaccinations to stay up to date.

A visit with your veterinarian may also include a fecal exam to check for intestinal parasites and a blood panel to use as a “baseline” and to check internal organ function. During the exam, your veterinarian will also review diet, behavior concerns and preventative medicine, such as flea control.

In short, a complete wellness exam is vital to ensuring your new companion is happy and healthy!


  • Adoption
  • Cat Spaying and Neutering
  • Dog Spay or Neuter
  • Cat Vaccination
  • Dog Vaccination
  • Cat Wellness Checkups